A heritage group is appealing for land so that the restoration of an historic Victorian pleasure cruiser can begin.
The Mary Gordon, which has been dry moored at the Pyewipe Inn, near Lincoln, for more than ten years, once regularly sailed from the Brayford and was a hit with trippers.
The pub is now looking to expand its barbecue area, meaning that the 52ft vessel needs to be moved. It is hoped that the Mary Gordon could be taking to the water once again in two to three years’ time after a full restoration.
Peter Harrold, 60, from Welton, chairman of the Mary Gordon Trust, said: “All we need is hard standing – ideally concrete – with access to power. We will then erect a polytunnel over the boat to work on it.
“If anybody out there has some spare space, we should be very grateful.
“We spent a lot of time on our £300,000 Lottery bid which failed, the main reason being we couldn’t get a mooring.
“We have since acquired the boat restoration skills we didn’t have before so we will be doing a lot of the work ourselves.
“But we will still need to apply for about £100,000 from the Lottery. I think we could have it back in the water and taking out day trippers in two to three years’ time.
“We need somewhere level to work because we need a level keel. If someone can help us find a suitable site, we can make a start.”
Mr Harrold and his team are working on a 24ft Broads Yacht in a secret boatyard in an old cow shed in Skellingthorpe and a launch is planned later this year. They then hope to begin working on the Mary Gordon, which needs re-building from the keel up.
Mr Harrold has been honing his skills on several smaller projects, including Little Gull, which has been nominated in Classic Boat Magazine’s restoration of the year awards.
John East, 67, of Clarina Street, Lincoln, who is involved with the Mary Gordon project, sailed in her when it was captained by the legendary Skipper Ross.
“I sailed on it in the 1950s, like most people in Lincoln during that era, and I well remember Skipper Ross,” he said. “It would be a dream come true to see the Mary Gordon back on the water – it would bring back so many memories.”
Anyone who can help should call Mr Harrold on 07770 406883 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org